Australian national carrier Qantas today launched a new loyalty programme aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Called Qantas Business Rewards, the programme is “an evolution of the existing Aquire initiative” according to the airline, which it introduced back in 2014 and today has approximately 125,000 members.

The new programme ostensibly provides businesses with the ability to earn Qantas Points when their employees fly on Qantas-operated flights or American Airlines and Emirates flights carrying a QF flight code. Eligible purchases on the ground, such as office supplies, recruitment and telecommunications, will also contribute towards a business’s point accrual – purchases at up to 40 non-airline retail partners can earn points, including Caltex Australia and Jaguar Land Rover. These point rewards are in addition to the Qantas Points and Status Credits that the individual earns as a frequent flyer member.

A number of new features have also been added to the Qantas Business Rewards programme that were not seen in the previous Aquire system. These include earning Qantas Points from the first dollar spent and being able to earn points at a higher rate the more you travel. Staff and contractors travelling under a business’s ABN (Australian Business Number) are also eligible to accrue points for that company, adding to its points balance.

“The success of our Frequent Flyer programme shows that people like to be rewarded for their loyalty to Qantas, and that Qantas Points are something they really value,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce. “We think the same is true of small businesses. We expect some companies will use the points they earn to reward employees, perhaps through incentive trips for high performers. Others will use them on flights to help reduce their overall travel costs.”

The programme is divided across three tiers, called Levels, with each progressive level offering improved benefits for a company (traveller benefits remain the same across all tiers, including the ability to accrue Qantas Points, Status Credits and a 10 per cent saving on Qantas Club membership). The details for the three tiers are as follows:

Level 1: Up to 20,000 Qantas Points earned flying for business.

  • 20 Qantas Points for every 100 Qantas Points flyers earn
  • 5 per cent off the base fare on select airfares

Level 2: 20,000-99,999 Qantas Points earned flying for business

  • 30 Qantas Points for every 100 Qantas Points flyers earn
  • 7 per cent off the base fare on select airfares

Level 3: 100,000+ Qantas Points earned flying for Business

  • 40 Qantas Points for every 100 Qantas Points flyers earn
  • 8 per cent off the base fare on select airfares
  • 2 per cent savings off the base fare on a selection of Red e-Deals

In addition to the 2 per cent savings on Red e-Deals, Level 3 member companies also have a number of unique benefits. Discounts on select airfares and Red e-Deals can be attained right up to departure (Level 1 and 2 members have to book at least seven days in advance to be eligible) along with earning up to one million bonus points for each year of flying.